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Hope in Christ, Part 1 (Rev. Derek Prince)

Hope in Christ, Part 1 (Rev. Derek Prince)

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Published by: Dias Lobato on May 29, 2010
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Volume XVI, Issue 2
E R E K 
Hope in Christ, part 1
Is there something in you that flinches at the mention of the word
? Isyour first reaction to stop reading? If so, that is a sure indication that you, inparticular, need to open your heart to this message. ¶ In our contemporaryculture, there has been an unadvertised effort to remove anything that mightbe unpleasant or painful from the concept of death. We no longer speak abouta cemetery, instead we use a phrase such as “a memorial garden.” And whenthe body of a dead person is displayed for view before burial, everythingpossible is done to minimize the changes caused by death.
till, I believe it is important that we do notallow ourselves to forget one simple,objective, unchanging fact: death is real and itis unpleasant. It is painful and cruel. Any view of lifethat cannot accept this fact is deceptive andunrealistic. Any philosophy or religion that does nothave a redemptive answer to the harsh reality of death is inadequate to meet the needs of humanity. What distinguishes the Christian faith from all otherreligions and philosophies is that it has a positive,proven answer to death. When modern medicine encounters a physicalproblem it seeks to provide three statements: adiagnosis, a prognosis, and a remedy. The diagnosisreveals the cause; the prognosis predicts the coursethat the disease will take; and the remedy, of course,is the answer to the disease. When we face the topic of death, the Bible offers us allthree of these. The diagnosis is stated very simply inScripture:
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered theworld, and death through sin, and thus death spread to allmen, because all sinned”
(Romans 5:12
).So, death came through sin. If there had neverbeen sin, there never would have been death. Butbecause all men have sinned, death comes to all men.In its prognosis, the Bible indicates that death
Volume XVI, Issue 2the teaching legacy of derek prince | dpm archive
comes in three successive stages.The first is spiritual death. Godsaid to Adam, as He warned himabout the tree of knowledge of good and evil:
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil youshall not eat, for in the day that youeat of it you shall surely die”
(Genesis 2:17
).God told Adam “
in the day that you eat
you will die.” As weunderstand death, Adam livedanother 900 years and more. Butin the very day that he sinned hewas cut off, or alienated from, alife with God. In that moment hedied spiritually. In Ephesians 2:1Paul reminds the Christians inEphesus what their spiritualcondition was before they knewChrist:
“And you He madealive,who weredeadin trespasses andsins”
emphasis added
).Paul was not speaking of aphysical death, but a spiritualdeath—alienation from God.Once man’s spirit was cut off from God by sin, his physical lifewas like a battery that could notbe recharged. It continued tofunction for quite a while, butultimately it would run down.The second phase is physicaldeath. This is what we actually call“death”—the separation of the soulfrom the body. There is a visibleresult in the condition of the body.It begins to decay. But the conditionof the soul remains unchanged.The third phase is what theBible calls “the second death.”This is something that is knownonly through the revelation of Scripture:
“This is the seconddeath. And anyone not foundwritten in the Book of Life was castinto the lake of fire”
). As we study this picture, we seetwo important elements. First, thissecond death is final, eternal,irrevocable banishment from thepresence of God. From the seconddeath there is no way back.Second, it is not a cessation of consciousness, for there is never acessation of consciousness. Person-ality remains conscious both in thislife and afterward. We never escapeour own consciousness.The remedy for death is, of course, Jesus—the One who cameto avenge our death at the hand of Satan. He did this by taking ourdeath upon Himself, by payingour penalty. In this way, He set usfree from the fear of death. John 10 says Satan was thethief who came to steal. But Jesussaid,
“I have come that they mayhave life, and that they may have itmore abundantly.”
So Jesus gave usback our inheritance. In ourrelationship to Jesus, we becomepleasing and acceptable to God.Condemnation is gone. Fear isgone. We can say with the apostle John,
“The darkness is passingaway, and the true light is alreadyshining”
How Did He Do That?
The entire revelation of Scripturecenters in the atonement—thesacrificial death of Jesus on thecross, and His triumphantresurrection. Atonement restoresthe sinner to God’s favor. It is atotal reconciliation and union.One vivid picture thatillustrates the place of theatonement in the total message of the Gospel is that of a wheel. In acommon wheel, there are threesections: the outer circle, thespokes and the hub. In thispicture, the outer circle representsGod’s complete provision forevery area of our lives—spiritual,physical, and material, for timeand through eternity. The totalprovision of God through theGospel is like that full-orbed circle
Volume XVI, Issue 2the teaching legacy of derek prince | dpm archive
of the wheel. It covers everything.The spokes that support theouter wheel are the ways thatGod makes provision. One spokewould be forgiveness, whichgives us peace; another spokehealing, which gives us health;another deliverance, which givesus liberty; and another would besanctification, which gives usholiness. In that way, the spokessupport the outer rim, which isGod’s provision.The hub—the very center—isthe atonement. The spokes restupon the hub. Without the hubthey have nothing to support them. Also, through the hub comes thedriving power that turns the wheel.It is the hub of the atonement onwhich everything else depends—through which the power for theChristian life is supplied. Hebrews2:9 makes it more clear:
But we see Jesus, who was madea little lower than the angels, forthe suffering of death crownedwith glory and honor, that He, bythe grace of God, might tastedeath for everyone.
)Notice that last phrase:
“That He
, by the grace of God, mighttaste death for everyone.”
He tastedour death; He took our place. Thatwhich was due to us came uponHim. This is stated again in Isaiah53:6:
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,Each of us has turned to hisown way; And the L
has laid on himthe iniquity of us all.
)The word that is translated
also has the meaning of “rebellion.” The rebellion of thewhole human race is summed upin that phrase. Each one of us hasturned to his own way. But as Jesushung on the cross, all our rebellionwas laid upon Him. And then,upon Him as He hung there, cameall the evil consequences of rebellion: sickness, rejection, pain,agony, and finally death. But He didnot die for Himself; He died ourdeath. He tasted death in our place
he greatest event of all history isthe resurrection of Jesus Christ. Itis the heart of the Christianmessage. Without the resurrectionthere is no Christian message. Itall revolves around the death andthe resurrection of Jesus Christ.The Gospel of Jesus Christconsists of three simple historicalfacts—events that have actuallytaken place in human history andare attested by many reliablewitnesses. In 1 Corinthians 15:1–4, Paul establishes himself as oneof those reliable witnesses.
Moreover, brethren, I declare to youthe gospel which I preached to you,which also you received and inwhich you stand, by which also youare saved, if you hold fast that wordwhich I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I deliveredto you first of all that which I alsoreceived: that Christ died for oursins according to the Scriptures,and that He was buried, and thatHe rose again the third dayaccording to the Scriptures.
)Paul states for us the Gospelthat he preached: the Gospel thatis essential to believe for salvation.It centers, first of all, in the personof Christ. Second, it centers inthree great historical facts thatrelate to Jesus Christ: He
, was
, and
the third day.Imprint those facts on yourheart. Paul says, “These are the

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